Charting Grey's Anatomy's Leading Cause of Departure

Raise your hand for those who noticed that one coming.

Weeks after Justin Chambers shocked Grey’s Anatomy fanatics with the revelation that he used to be departing ABC’s long-running scientific cleaning soap after 16 seasons, the display in the end published precisely the place cherished document Alex Karev, who has each a spouse and a very best good friend adrift in Seattle in his absence, has run off to. And for those who had “reunited with Izzie (Katherine Heigl) to boost their dual son and daughter that she’d been elevating in secret for a majority of these years” to your place of business pool, then it used to be your fortunate night time.

Chambers’ surprising departure intended that showrunner Krista Vernoff and her writing body of workers truly had their paintings minimize out for them in crafting a pleasing send-off for a personality who is been round since day one. How do you pull that off while you shouldn’t have the actor to be had to deliver the tale to lifestyles? That continues to be noticed. Would he get a completely satisfied finishing? As fanatics of Grey’s know all too smartly, Shonda Rhimes & Co. do not hand the ones out all too frequently. 

While he were given one, deficient Jo (Camilla Luddington) did not, except you believe Alex’s stocks within the health center a worthy comfort prize on your husband ghosting you to sign up for a circle of relatives he did not know he had.

Now that we’ve got mentioned our giant good-bye to Alex, we are taking a look again on the entire tactics Grey’s has gotten rid of major characters through the years. And the main explanation for departure simply would possibly marvel you…

The Deaths: As you’ll be able to see within the chart beneath, with Riggs’ transfer down south, there is now a tie for main explanation for departure between useless and moved when the Grey’s Anatomy writers write a first-rate persona out of the collection. Of direction, at the useless facet, we have now T.R. Knight‘s George O’Malley, who used to be the display’s first collection common to die, after George used to be shockingly hit by way of a bus within the season 5 finale.

Knight mentioned he requested to be written out after a gentle “breakdown of communication” between Rhimes and himself that started with former co-star Isaiah Washington (extra about his departure in a 2nd) used a homosexual slur on set in connection with Knight and used to be therefore fired, which resulted in a loss of display time and power towards his popping out of the closet.  “There just comes a time when it’s so clear that moving on is the best decision,” he informed Entertainment Weekly on the time.

Rhimes disputed Knight’s claims, particularly that she careworn him to stick within the closet. “”I mentioned, ‘If you need to return out, that is superior. We’ll utterly give a boost to that.’ And then he went away, considered it, and got here again and mentioned, ‘I’ll make this observation,'” she informed the mag.

Grey's Anatomy Exits, Pie Chart

ABC; Melissa Herwitt/E! Illustration

The subsequent main major persona deaths would come courtesy of season 8’s giant airplane crash, which claimed the lives of each Chyler Leigh‘s Lexie and Eric Dane‘s Sloan. As Leigh informed E! News on the time, she’d made up our minds season 8 could be her final. “I met with Shonda and we worked together to give Lexie’s story appropriate closure,” she mentioned. Rhimes echoed that on Twitter, writing, “We had a lot of thoughtful discussion about it and ultimately we both decided this was the right time for her character’s journey to end.”

Dane’s destiny used to be saved up within the air all summer season lengthy, even though his departure from the collection had already been introduced. In July of 2012, Dane and Rhimes showed his imminent go out, with Rhimes telling TVLine that the actor “did not come to this decision lightly, but after much consideration and conversations, he and I have decided that this is the right time for his storyline to end.” He seemed in two episodes of season 9 sooner than his persona succumbed to his accidents and passed on to the great beyond.

The display’s subsequent major persona demise, arguably its greatest one ever, would come two seasons later when Patrick Dempsey‘s Derek Shepherd used to be killed off in a stunning type after 11 seasons because the display’s male lead. After rescuing stranded motorists from a automobile coincidence proper sooner than their automobile exploded, Derek stopped in short in his automobile to reply to the telephone and used to be struck by way of a semi-truck and declared mind useless sooner than Meredith (Ellen Pompeo) may get to the health center to mention good-bye.

Dempsey have been vocal about in need of to go away the collection, however had simply signed a brand new two-year deal to stay him at the display via season 12, so Derek’s demise truly got here out of nowhere (in spite of being spoiled 30 mins sooner than the episode aired). “It just sort of evolved. It just kind of happened,” he informed EW on the time. “[Being written off] used to be one thing that used to be roughly sudden and uh, simply naturally got here to be. I really like how it has all performed out.

For Rhimes, killing Derek used to be the one approach she may see a long term for the display with out Dempsey on it. “The decision to have the character die the way that he did was not a difficult one in the sense of what were the options?” she informed journalists on the 2015 Summer TCA press excursion. “Either Derek was going to walk out on Meredith, and leave her high and dry, and what was that going to mean? That was going to suggest that the love was not true, the thing we had said for 11 years was a lie and McDreamy wasn’t McDreamy.”

“For me, that was untenable,” she persevered. “Because I really couldn’t have the idea that he just turned out to be a bad guy who walked out on his wife and kids be a true story. To me, it felt like that was the only way to make Meredith and Derek’s magic remain true and forever frozen in time.”

The Fond Farewells: The first major persona who were given to easily transfer away, in most cases for some form of satisfied finishing, used to be Sandra Oh‘s Cristina Yang. Another OG forged member like Dempsey, Oh introduced forward of the season 10 premiere that the season could be her final, giving fanatics time to mention good-bye to the nature. “Creatively, I really feel like I gave it my all, and I feel ready to let her go,” she informed THR on the time. “It’s such an enchanting factor to play a personality for goodbye and to in reality get the sense that she needs to be let move as smartly. [Cristina] needs to be let move, and I’m in a position to let her move. We have to begin the method, story-wise, for the Grey’s writers to think about why she’s going to head.”

Rhimes would sooner or later ship Cristina off to Zurich, Switzerland, the place Preston Burke (Washington), the person who as soon as left her on the altar, used to be working a health center and on the lookout for his substitute, providing her his process as head of the health center. And in her departure, she took Gaius Charles‘ Shane Ross together with her. 

Sara Ramirez‘s Callie Torres would get the next step, on the finish of season 12, when she made up our minds to observe her female friend Penny around the nation to NYC. “I am deeply thankful to have spent the final 10 years with my circle of relatives at Grey’s Anatomy & ABC however for now I am taking some welcome day without work,” Ramirez tweeted the night time her ultimate episode aired. “Shonda’s been so incredible to work for and we will definitely continue our conversations! I send my Love to Ellen, the rest of the cast & crew, and I look forward to always being a part of the Shondaland family!”

When Jessica Capshaw used to be written out of the collection two season later, her Arizona Robbins had reconnected with ex Callie, now break up from the GF she adopted around the nation, and would transfer to the Big Apple herself to reunite her circle of relatives. Similarly, when quasi-Dempsey substitute Martin Henderson departed that very same season after two as a sequence common, his Martin Riggs used to be allowed to observe a long-lost love right down to California to reside fortuitously ever after.

The Ghosts: While different characters have been written out by way of both being fired (Kim Raver‘s Teddy—even though, she’s since returned as a sequence common as soon as once more—and Tessa Ferrer‘s Murphy), quitting (Sarah Drew‘s April, Jerrika Hinton‘s Edwards and Brooke Smith‘s Hahn), or, when it comes to fortunate Kate Walsh, whose persona Addison landed her personal display, being spun-off, there used to be one manner of departure that Rhimes reputedly reserves for most effective her maximum annoying actor-creator relationships. We’re speaking about Burke and Izzie’s (Katherine Heigl) whole and utter ghosting.

After Washington discovered himself personality non grata among a lot of the forged all over the 3rd season when a rumor surfaced that he’d referred to still-closeted Knight by way of a crass homosexual slur all over an issue with Washington, he made issues worse again level on the 2007 Golden Globes after the display gained Best Drama when, fielding press inquiries, he mentioned, “No, I did not call T.R. a f—-t.” In the season 3 finale, Burke would depart Cristina on the altar, taking all his assets from their condo, and no longer be noticed or heard from for reasonably a while because of ABC’s resolution to terminate him in June. He would later reprise his function all over Oh’s farewell season, with Burke popping as much as be offering Cristina her satisfied finishing.

Grey's Anatomy Exits, Graph Chart

ABC; Melissa Herwitt/E! Illustration

The starting of Heigl’s finish got here when, after the 2008-09 season, she refused to post herself for Emmy attention, claiming she did not really feel the fabric she’d won warranted a nomination. While Rhimes downplayed the slight, many anticipated that Heigl could be killed off when Izzie used to be recognized with Stage four metastatic melanoma. She would live to tell the tale and marry Alex (Justin Chambers), most effective to go back very sporadically in season six, in the end asking for to be launched from her contract 18 months early. The final phrases she would ever utter on digicam have been in keeping with Meredith asking her to not depart, reminding her that is her house. “No it’s not,” she says. “Not anymore. It’s just a place I worked and I can do that anywhere.”

Over the years, Heigl would turn flop on whether or not she used to be open to returning to the collection to provide some closure to the nature, to begin with telling MTV in 2010 that it could “just feel manipulative.” She modified her track in 2012, on the other hand, telling E! News, “I told them I want to…I really, really, really want to see where [Izzie] is. I just want to know what happened to her and where she went and what she’s doing now.” 

Rhimes, on the other hand, is not right here for it. “No,” she informed TVLine in 2015. “I’m done with that story. I’ve turned that idea over in my mind a thousand times and thought about how it would go. And I don’t think so.” And now that the nature has been given closure by means of Alex’s go out, the door appears to be in the end, formally closed right here, too.

For extra onerous information at the many main Grey’s exits through the years (18 in overall!), together with the typical duration of keep for a sequence common, make sure to take a look at our at hand charts above!

Grey’s Anatomy airs Thursdays at nine p.m. on ABC.

(Originally revealed October 30, 2017 at 2:28 p.m. PT.)